Woo Jung Ho 1988 - 2012
Most of us have never met you, but the impact you’ve had on our community transcends the games you played or the championship teams you were a part of. Too often, we StarCraft fans live in a bubble; your fight against leukemia was an important reminder of the value of life to a community that tends to focus on the trivial and the abstract. The game we play is about attaining perfection, and as a progamer you fought for that standard in every match. Life is not like that, and that was something your struggle taught us.
StarCraft is also a game about creativity and perseverance in the face of things going wrong. You went out of your comfort zone to interact with your English speaking fans many times, but, most incredibly, you stayed with us until the end.
You never told us about your treatments, your sleepless nights, your pain, and your lonely hours. Instead, you shared with us your optimism, your hopes, and your passion. We hope that it gave you comfort to know that you had supporters not just in Korea, but in the United States, Canada, Australia, the UK, Germany, France, and so many other nations near and far. Around the world, fans recognized your hard work and dedication, and celebrated your passion for the game we all love.
Violet, though you will never read this, we hope you felt the support and passion of the foreign StarCraft community. We hope that, in some small way, we helped make your final days a little bit brighter. Thank you for your contribution to our community over the years. You will be remembered.
Violet vs. Bisu - May 23 2009
Map: Neo Medusa
In this, one of the earlier games of his career, we watched a complete underdog, who struggled in qualification and survivor tournaments, convincingly dismantled the always-favored, seemingly unstoppable PvP machine that was Bisu during a peak period of the latter's career.
Violet vs. Hogil - June 6 2009
Map: Heartbreak Ridge
An epic PvZ against Hogil. Though largely forgotten now, Hogil was unquestionably among the top three ZvP players of the time, a specialist in the matchup, making the game even more significant.
Violet vs. Canata - August 7 2010
Map: Heartbreak Ridge
Violet opens the grand final game with a convincing win for KT. Together with Stats. Violet filled the much-needed Protoss powerhouse role for KT during the 2009-2010 season. Following in the tradition of the ever-dependable Nal Ra and Reach, Violet was instrumental in securing points for KT throughout the season and in the playoffs.
Violet vs. HiyA - April 27 2010
Map: Fighting Spirit
After a back and forth game, Violet's excellent High Templar play eventually secures him a hard fought win over OZ's Terran ace HiyA.
Violet vs. Hyuk - November 9 2009
Map: Heartbreak Ridge
In an otherwise normal PvZ, Violet perfectly executes one of Brood War's rarest but most beautiful plays, a maelstrom and psionic storm combo.
Violet vs. Jaedong - January 17 2011
In what would be one of the last matches of his career, Violet takes out Jaedong with some solid mid-game play in the opening Winners League set against Hwaseung, the first of his three kill run against them
Violet vs. Fantasy - December 15 2010
Map: Bloody Ridge
Violet demonstrates how to use the map to your advantage, opting to abuse the numerous cliffs on Bloody Ridge with carriers against Fantasy.
Violet vs. Kwanro - July 15 2009
Map: God's Garden
Violet takes on Kwanro, the infamous Pokemon Zerg. At the time, Kwanro was nearing his peak and just a month away from his famous rise over Flash to a silver in the Avalon MSL. Yet, his incredibly abusive ZvP style was no match for Violet's rock solid fundamentals. Violet weathered the storm of constant Hydra drops and Lurker harass with storms of his own. Count 'em up. There are over 33 psi storms in this game.
Violet vs. Horang2 - August 19 2009
Map: Colosseum II
The STX Masters Cup is played in a best of seven all-kill format. This means that players are often unprepared for their opponents and have to improvise their builds on the spot. In this game, Horang2 spins our heads when he opens with what looks to be a well-calculated two-base timing attack and an absolutely massive cannon contain. For the next few minutes, any spectator would have called the game over. Violet disagreed. With some incredible shuttle play, he perseveres and miraculously turns the tables.
Violet vs. Calm - January 23 2011
At this point in the 2011 Shinhan Bank Winners League, KT Rolster was undefeated. With the unstoppable likes of Flash, Violet, Stats, and Action, KT was a force to be reckoned with. In this series, Violet must have told his teammates to kick back and watch the show as he racks up a three-kill against STX.
In what would be the last win of his pro-gaming career, Violet picks apart Calm with brilliant sair/DT play. Four days later, Violet would be diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. To the end, Violet was one of the best to grace the game.
Like many progamers, Woo Jung Ho, aka Violet, entered the scene without fanfare. He was quietly picked up by what was then the KTF MagicNs in 2007, spending some time as one of many faceless B teamers before working his way to the A team that same year. His first televised game was an unspectacular loss during a regular season proleague match of little importance. For the rest of the year, and throughout 2008, Violet faded in and out of the KTF lineup, with some playtime but little success, racking up many more losses than wins. Early exits in qualification rounds of both the MSL and the OSL left very little impression of Violet for most fans.
At the same time, however, KTF was in decline. The aging and impending retirements of flagship veterans such as YellOw, Reach, and Nal_rA left large holes in the KTF roster, and KTF’s homegrown rookies were not quite ready to return the team to its former glory.
In many ways, Violet’s rise mirrored KTF’s resurgence. After a disappointing first two years, Violet surprised everyone in 2009, achieving an impressive 12-3 record in Rounds 4 and 5 of the 2008-2009 Shinhan Bank Proleague. His nine-win streak was the longest of the season. During this inspiring run, the underdog Violet dispatched a list of formidable opponents: SKT ace Bisu, ZvP specialist HoGiL, as well as seasoned veterans firebathero and Anytime all fell to Violet’s superb play.
KTF’s weak performance in the first rounds meant a failure to qualify for the playoffs, but Violet’s breakout performance was a sign of things to come. With the rebirth of The Ultimate Weapon, Flash, and the acquisition of Luxury in late 2008, KTF was in need only of a Protoss to continue the legacy of Reach and Nal_ra. Violet delivered.
In Round 1 of the 2009-2010 Shinhan Bank Proleague, Violet put on a dominant display, pushing the newly renamed KT Rolster to the top of the rankings with a stunning 7-0 performance. A staple of KT’s line-up for the rest of the season, Violet was integral to his team's first place finish and automatic seeding into the Grand Finals. KT's new Protoss superstar also contributed a win in the first set of the Grand Finals, and, a few hours later, Violet held in his hands the first Proleague trophy KT had ever won.
Violet’s outlook was good – continued Proleague success and individual league breakouts were goals within easy reach. Shock and disappointment came quickly, however, as the next three months, and the first two rounds of the 2010-2011 Proleague season, saw a disappointing 5-10 record for Violet, worlds away from his stellar performance just a year before. As January came, Violet looked more his old self, with a pair of three-kills and a 6-2 record in the Winner’s League portion of the season. Unfortunately, his rebound was quickly cut short.
On January 27, 2011, Violet was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
For the next year and a half, Violet faced his struggle with cheer and determination. In times of hardship, the true character of a man shines through – in what was undoubtedly the toughest time of Violet’s life, he remained committed to his team, his fans, and his dream.
Violet was one of the few progamers with a TL account. With English that made up for its shortcomings by radiating sincerity and energy, Violet communicated with his fans about his thoughts and his plans – through KT’s second proleague win, the transition to SC2, and the uncertain future ahead, Violet endeared himself to us with his unwavering resolve.
In direct contrast to his quiet entrance, Violet exits the scene with the eyes of the community fixed upon him.
Today we are all proud to say we are Violet fans.